A pair of sneakers worn by Michael Jordan in 1984 were sold Sunday at Sotheby’s for a record price for sneakers at auction.
The Nike Air Ship sneakers, sold for nearly $1.5 million, and are the Charlotte Hornets owner’s earliest known regular season game-worn Nikes, Sotheby’s said on its website.
The red and white sneakers, acquired by collector Nick Fiorella, are the first pair to top the $1 million mark at an auction, according to NBC News.
The signed sneakers, sold for $1.47 million, were worn in Jordan’s fifth NBA game in November 1984 with the Chicago Bulls, the auction house said. After the game, Jordan gave the sneakers to Tommie Tim III Lewis, a ball boy for the Denver Nuggets at the time, according to Sotheby’s.
The “Air Ship” sneakers, designed by Bruce Kilgore, are the first basketball shoe Jordan wore as an NBA professional, Sotheby’s said. The famed auction house said the Air Ship “is a key part of the design legacy of the original Air Jordan.”
The Jordan sneaker auction was held in Las Vegas as part of Sotheby’s auction of “Icons of Excellence and Haute Luxury.” Other items in the catalog included a white gold and diamond set Rolex that sold for $63,000, and a 2006 Ford GT Heritage car, one of only 343 built that year, that went for $522,000.
It’s gotta be the shoes
Interest in all-things Jordan memorabilia remains high.
In 2017, one of Jordan’s old jerseys sold for 273,904, the Observer reported at the time, a record then for a basketball jersey.
And in August 2020, a pair of Jordan’s game-worn Nike Air Jordan 1 High sneakers from 1985 were sold by the auction house Christie’s for a then-record of $615,000, CNN reported.